How is FanX 2023 affected by the Hollywood strike?

Sep 22, 2023, 4:34 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm

Image of actor John Rhys-Davies, known for playing Gimli in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, signin...

Actor John Rhys-Davies, known for playing Gimli in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, signs an autograph for Chris Harper, of Las Vegas, at the FanX convention at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY–  FanX has officially hit Salt Lake City and will continue its takeover throughout the weekend. The pop culture and comic convention is celebrating its tenth year in Salt Lake City, but things may look a bit different this year as the SAG-AFTRA strike continues. 

The convention is known to draw big crowds and big names. This year is no exception with celebrities like Michael J. Fox, Zachary Levi,  John Rhys-Davies, Krysten Ritter, and Karen Gillan. 

What about the SAG-AFTRA strike?

Actors and writers have been on a months-long strike which means FanX will look a bit different this year. 

Founder of FanX, Dan Farr recently appeared on KSL’s podcast Fan Effect with hosts Andy Farnsworth and KellieAnn Halvorsen.

“One of the great things about FanX is that your ticket includes tickets to the celebrity panels, which are free,” said Farnsworth.

Panels often include actors talking about their careers and projects. 

“Because of the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) guidelines, the celebrities are strongly discouraged from talking about specific projects that they worked on, that involve, what they call struck companies,” Farr said.

A struck company is a company that the actors and writers are striking against. This includes companies, such as movie studios, that are involved in the production of specific projects (i.e. movies, TV shows, etc.).

So when it comes to panels, the actors may limit how much they talk about past work and upcoming projects.

“I’m sure there’s going to be a range of … actors that will cross that line here and there,” Farr said. “Or at least get close to it.”

Though this may be a bummer for some fans, Farr said that it opens up the conversation for questions celebrities don’t usually get.

“These actors get asked pretty much the same things at different conventions,” he said. “A lot … of these panels get, you know, put up on YouTube or whatever. So, you probably can find the answers.”

Other SAG guidelines for FanX

The strike is also affecting how actors are doing autographs at conventions, according to Farr.

“Basically, if you want them to sign a character photo … you bring it,” he said.

Character photos and things of that nature will be available at the convention. However, Farr said, they will not be provided at the autograph tables as they have been in the past.

“You’ll get a headshot … but maybe five or 15 feet away, there may be some (character) photos,” Farr said.

In doing this, Farr said, fans will still get to celebrate their favorite actors, while also respecting the strike.

“I sat on a SAG meeting … SAG doesn’t want to discourage fans,” Farr said. “They even say, ‘Yeah, you’re doing photo ops and somebody comes up dressed as your character, by all means, do the photo with them.'”

FanX is being held at the Salt Palace Convention Center from Sept. 21 to Sept. 23.

Related: As writers’ strike nears 100-day mark, a potential deal with Hollywood studios is nowhere in sight

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How is FanX 2023 affected by the Hollywood strike?